Radical Riley heads Buckle Down Ben (center) and Cee Dee (left) in Saturday's Holy Bull Stakes.

Radical Riley heads Buckle Down Ben (center) and Cee Dee (left) in Saturday's Holy Bull Stakes.

AP / EquiPhoto

Holy Bull! Longshot Wins; Songandaprayer Fifth

Radical Riley, a 15-1 shot, came from next to last to edge Buckle Down Ben by a head Saturday in the grade III, $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream.

Cee Dee, a 20-1 shot, was third, only half a length behind the first two. Master Planner, the 2-1 favorite, was fourth in a field of eight.

The winner's time for 1 1/16 miles on a good track was an unimpressive 1:46, which was 5 4/5 seconds slower than the track record. The Florida-bred son on Wheaton, ridden by Eduardo Nunez, paid $32.20, $10.20 and $5.60. Buckle Down Ben, who opened the favorite, paid $5.20 and $3.60. Cee Dee paid $6.20 to show. Master Plan never was a factor, finishing four lengths behind Cee Dee.

The first four finishers are eligible for the grade I, $1 million Florida Derby on March 10 but will have to improve to become contenders.

Drumcliff and Songandaprayer opened seven lengths on the field at the top of the backstretch. Master Planner was fourth, 10 lengths off the pace, with Buckle Down Ben fifth, Cee Dee sixth and Radical Riley seventh.

Songandaprayer dispensed with Drumcliff at the half mile pole but Buckle Down Ben drove through on the inside to make a run at the lead. Buckle Down Ben was in front at the quarter pole as Songandaprayer tried to stay with him. On the stretch turn Radical Riley, on the rail, started a big run and went into fourth.

At the eighth pole he was head and head for the lead with Buckle Down Ben. Cee Dee was right with them on the outside. Radical Riley edged away in the final 70 yards as Buckle Down Ben and Cee Dee also finished gamely.

Previously unbeaten Songandaprayer faded badly to finish fifth. Drumcliff had to be eased at the top of the stretch.

Radical Riley, owned by Jacks or Better Farm, is a homebred. He has won four of 13 starts and has earned $197,755. He won the grade III What a Pleasure Stakes at Calder, at a mile and a sixteenth on a sloppy track, in his final start as a 2-year-old. He also finished in two other stakes at Calder. On wet tracks he has won three of four starts.

(Chart, Equibase)